It was 45 Years Ago Tonight

One of my oldest friends, who I haven’t seen in something like 30 years, dropped me a note a little while ago, asking if I was doing anything to mark the 45th anniversary of Star Trek today. Laura got me to thinking and while I wasn’t watching when “The Man Trap” aired, I caught on soon enough.

I’ve written often through the years about my early days with the television series followed by the cons, the comics, and novels so there’s little point in rehashing that stuff.

Instead, I have to admit, my affection for the series, characters, and concepts remain strong. I think it’s terrific to see how many people have posted on Facebook and Twitter about the anniversary, recirculating YouTube clips of varying quality.

These days, though, I feel a little distanced from the franchise. The revolving door editorship at Pocket Books has meant a concept of mine, that I was assured was at Paramount for approval, apparently never got out of someone’s inbox. Instead, the scientific principle I built the story around got co-opted by another author for a book that came out this year. No foul, the science is real and he got lucky to get through the labyrinth.

Similar efforts to write for IDW got as a far as a script only to see the project canceled when sales for the line fell and the artist hadn’t started work after six months. New efforts to pitch have gone to no avail.

Thankfully, Paul Simpson over at Titan’s Star Trek magazine has use for me now and then. The current issue, for example, has my overview of Star Trek: The Next Generation’s third season.

It’s not a conspiracy on someone’s part or bitterness on mine, but some sadness. I love writing the characters and I love writing about the show.  I look forward to a change in the solar winds which will allow me to resume. Until then, I chuckle at every reference I catch on television shows (most recently Leverage, Suits and Warehouse 13) or in movies. It speaks to the enduring appeal of the series and is a cultural shorthand so many of us understand. The show has become permanently embedded in the fabric of American society and that’s a pretty rare accomplishment, usually reserved for literary giants, top 40 singers, and a handful of others.

I salute the show and remember that Gene Roddenberry’s concept for “Wagon Train to the stars” proved to be far more than that. Qapla!

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